By SCOTT N. LOWERY
Without question, Father Time is the grand marshal of life's parade.
I must admit the gentleman's pace is a bit too fast with the realization that the majority of those folks living and working in Lycoming County today were not yet born when the world's focus was concentrated on a presidential parade route in Dallas, Texas 50 years ago.
This coming Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, our nation's 35th president. For those of us longer in the tooth the remembrance is still quite vivid. For me, it took on extra meaning as the day before the shooting I was among hundreds standing along a rope line at the Houston, Texas airport hoping to get a glimpse of the President.
I was within a few feet as he passed by flashing the smile and charisma that marked his demeanor.
Less than 24 hours later, November 23, 1963 at 12:30 p.m., I was making a sandwich in the Houston apartment I was sharing with two other college roommates when the terrible news flashed across the TV screen.
The world changed forever that day.
Back then I had no idea as to where life's parade would lead me. Today, as hundreds of volunteers are giving of their time, talent and treasure to successfully push our United Way campaign across the approaching finish line, one of JFK's memorable quotes rings strikingly true.
He once stated, "It is the greatest mistake of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can! One person can make a difference and every person should try."
In reality, this is the essence of our Lycoming County United Way campaign. Despite having busy lives and limited time and resources, we care about our neighbors and others facing difficult times.
Not only do most want to see conditions improve, many of us are willing to be part of the solution, even if we can only do a little. By reaching out our hand to one, we can influence the conditions for all.
Our mission of service is to improve lives and help create lasting change in our community. We all win when children succeed in school, when families are financially stable and when communities are healthy, connected and engaged.
Living United means being part of the change. It takes all of us, working together, to create a brighter future.
If you have already made a contribution to this year's campaign, we sincerely thank you for your support. If you have not, or if you feel what you can do will not matter please remember the words of our 35th President, "do what you can."
Yes, you are but one person, but you are one person who can make a difference.
This Thanksgiving season enjoy the fruits of your labor, the love of your family and share what you can to strengthen our community through your support of the United Way campaign.
Lowery is the executive director of the Lycoming County United Way.